# How many electrons does the 4p subshell in the ground state of atomic xenon contain?

Nov 12, 2015

$6$

#### Explanation:

Xenon, $\text{Xe}$, is located in period 5, group 18 of the periodic table, and has an atomic number equal to $54$. This tells you that a neutral xenon atom will have a total of $54$ electrons surrounding its nucleus.

Now, in order to be able to determine how many electrons you have in the 4p-subshell of a ground-state xenon atom, you need to take a look at its electron configuration.

$\text{Xe: } 1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{6} 3 {d}^{10} 4 {s}^{2} \textcolor{red}{4} {p}^{6} 4 {d}^{10} 5 {s}^{2} 5 {p}^{6}$

As you can see, the $\textcolor{red}{4}$p-subshell is completely filled. The $6$ electrons that occupy this subshell are distributed to $3$ orbitals

• $4 {p}_{x} \to$ two electrons
• $4 {p}_{y} \to$ two electrons
• $4 {p}_{z} \to$ two electrons